Consulting

This unattractive cement overlay was poorly installed by a pool contractor and began delaminating soon thereafter.  It had to be torn out and replaced.

This unattractive cement overlay was poorly installed by a pool contractor and began delaminating soon thereafter.  It had to be torn out and replaced.

With the rapid growth in popularity of acid-stained and other types of decorative concrete flooring over the last decade, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of new contractors and product manufacturers to meet this demand. Unfortunately, not all new contractors obtain the proper education and training before beginning installations, and not all manufacturers have their formulas or installation instructions fine-tuned before marketing their stains and sealers. As a result, and because acid staining is a skilled trade, highly dependent on product quality, a great deal of substandard work is being done - not only in terms of appearance, but durability, leaving homeowners and businesses wondering where to turn to fix a floor that did not turn out the way they wanted or has begun to peel, scratch, delaminate, or fade.

Brown discoloration of a new concrete slab that was caused by the use of dirty aggregate and could have been been avoided by specifying clean, washed aggregate in the concrete mix.

Brown discoloration of a new concrete slab that was caused by the use of dirty aggregate and could have been been avoided by specifying clean, washed aggregate in the concrete mix.

Making matters worse, news of these bad installations spreads quickly, especially when the projects are in commercial or other public locations. This causes uncertainty, trepidation, confusion, and consternation today, on the part of architects, builders, and project owners looking to use acid- stained concrete on their new floors. A great deal of advice and information on installing or fixing acid stained concrete can be obtained from the Internet, for example on YouTube, through a few minutes of research, but there is hardly ever a common thread to these instructions. Opinions, ideas, and recommendations vary widely. This is partly because of the rapid growth of the industry but also because state governments do not regulate concrete staining, or other types of decorative concrete flooring, and there are no trade or industry associations with official standards for acid-stained concrete floors.

Electronic moisture meter (above left) to measure moisture content of concrete, and calcium chloride kit (above right) to measure moisture vapor transmission.

Electronic moisture meter (above left) to measure moisture content of concrete, and calcium chloride kit (above right) to measure moisture vapor transmission.

This is where decorative concrete consulting comes in. Just as the construction industry has responded to meet popular demand for acid-stained concrete flooring installations, it is also now responding to the demand for fixes and repairs of faulty installations, and specifications and guidance for new projects. New firms offering decorative concrete project consulting can now be found in major metropolitan areas across the country. In most cases, these firms are successful concrete staining contractors, making a transition into consulting.  This is the case with us.  We make an effort to provide a lot of good information about decorative concrete flooring on our companion web sites, Concrete Veneers and Stained Concrete Chicago, and we are one of the few contractors to have been certified in Decorative Concrete, by the Michigan Concrete Association.  Michigan is the only state in the nation with a decorative concrete certification program.

We offer specific insight, advice, and guidance tailored to fit the needs of individual flooring projects throughout the United States and Canada. In many cases, we can provide this assistance by email and the electronic exchange of photos, blueprints, and other construction documents. When necessary, however, we travel onsite to assist with installations or participate in pre-construction and interior design meetings.

Permanent stains from solvent spilled during the construction process, that are invisible on dry concrete and will only show up after applying acid stain.

Permanent stains from solvent spilled during the construction process, that are invisible on dry concrete and will only show up after applying acid stain.

Here are some of the Stained Concrete Consulting Services we provide: 

Pre-Project: 

  • Decorative concrete mix specifications

  • Decorative concrete pour & finish recommendations

  • Concrete moisture and pH testing

  • Concrete surface evaluation

  • Decorative concrete pattern and design selection and layout

  • Acid-stain color samples

  • Product recommendations

  • Equipment and technique instructions and advice

  • Decorative concrete on-site training and assistance

Post-Project: 

  • Decorative concrete defect analysis and troubleshooting

  • Touchup and repair

  • Effective dispute resolution

  • Decorative concrete care & maintenance

  • Project remediation, restoration, and re-installation

If you would like help or advice with your stained or decorative concrete flooring project, please fill out the Decorative Concrete Project Submission Form on our Contact Page, and we would be glad to assist you.